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Inspired by the NCSML Collection

Recently, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles challenged art fans to post photos of themselves recreating their favorite works of art from the safety of their homes. Visitor & Volunteer Services Coordinator Aaron Tarchinski took the challenge in a new direction. Instead of recreating a painting from NCSML’s collection, he used one as inspiration to create his own.

NCSML painting — 28 Collective by Oton Kovarik; acrylic on canvas, 1974

Aaron’s painting — Quarantine 2020; acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 2020

In Kovarik’s words, this painting represents the “communist devils,” made to look like Stalin.

“Unlike Kovarik’s painting, my person is standing alone in the circle because of the virus spreading, and as a society, we are supposed to be practicing social distancing. The eyes of my person are the COVID-19 virus shape, similar to how Kovarik made the eyes of his men a communist star. As many of us sit at home, our minds are consumed by the idea of getting sick, and we wish there was more testing and structure to prevent the spread from continuing. The tallies counting the days behind the person represents the days we have been in quarantine and the days we will continue to remain here if every person, regardless of who they are or what they do, does not take this pandemic more seriously.

I believe art is meant to challenge the status quo and make viewers think about what art is and what art can be. Art can express and make people feel things they never had before, and that’s what makes me love it more and more every day. Some believe there is a specific time and place to express activism through art. They are right; it’s every day and at any time.”

Aaron has a BA in studio art and psychology from Coe College, and a BA in art history from the University of Iowa.

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